Friday, January 17, 2014

Loving God With All My Mind

***ETA: I was so disappointed that The Book Thief, which is advertised as a young adult book, is loaded with cuss words. I was reading it to my girls when I realized it (thankfully I was doing the reading, so I skipped the undesirable words), but we like to take turns. I guess we'll have to shelf that one and look for another book to read together.***

I hope you all had a great holiday season. We did some traveling to visit family, even got stranded for 4 days in Cincinnati. It was all good and made the best of the situation. I'm so thankful that our kids are so resilient. They had a better attitude about being stranded than I did. :)

At the end of 2013, as many of you do, I spent time just evaluating my year and life, in general. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." I don't really do new year resolutions, but I do find areas in my life that always need improving (my list is a mile long!). One thing that stands out is my need to grow in my love for God. Luke 10:27 says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..."

I know it is every Christian's resolution and there's always room to improve on loving God, but I was drawn more specifically to the phrase, "with all your mind."  Perhaps it's because I'm homeschooling this year and felt I need to up my academic brain. Perhaps I'm realizing I'm getting "up there" age-wise and my brain needs to be more stimulated for fear of forgetting things. Regardless of the reason, I'm glad that God brought this to mind.

So how do you go about loving God with all my mind? I have thought of two things: by exposing my brain to ideas, and reading more books. Here are my thoughts during my 2-week long journey so far:
  • First I have to remember, all truth is God's truth ("All truth exists to make God known and loved and shown."). I usually read Christian books, those that help me improve my walk with Christ. That is always good. I tend to shun other types of books and for good reason: I just don't have enough time to read what's out there. What I'm forgetting is there are so many other aspects of this world that also deserve my attention. The truth found in psychology, sociology, government, etc. is also God's truth, as long as they agree with Scriptures. And since all truth is God's truth, the truth found in those fields are also worth knowing. I have to emphasize, though, that I need to exercise caution and when deciding which books to spend my valuable time on. Unfortunately, there's so much garbage out there that we all desperately need biblical discernment in this area as well.
  • I have to cement my worldview and practice discernment. Everyone has one. I follow a biblical worldview, meaning I look at events, history, life in the light of the Bible. I look at a butterfly and marvel at God's creativity, not that it took millions of years to develop from some primordial bug. I look at the blessings in my life and thank God for each one because I know they are all gifts from Him (as opposed to random luck). At the same time, when I read books or listen to speakers, I have to be able to discern why and how it agrees/disagrees with Scripture. The Bible is my ultimate standard for truth.
  • I need to expand my reading material. I'm usually not drawn to fiction, except some of the classics, but the contemporary fiction is usually a reflection of the cultural worldview, or how the world sees things. If I want to engage the people around me with the Gospel, I need to understand how they think, i.e. what their worldview is. And fiction books are a product of the authors' imagination and creativity, qualities that reflect God's image in us.
  • I can usually get the gist of popular books by watching interviews of the authors promoting the book. This is the lazy approach to knowing, but it gets the job done. I have enjoyed viewing Youtube videos of debates and interviews of famous authors. This is good to do when I'm preparing dinner or vacuuming or doing other everyday chores.
  • Finally and most importantly, I have to guard my heart and to make sure my motivation for wanting to know more is so I can love God more. It's easy to love knowledge for the sake of appearing intellectual. But that only leads to pride, which I am so prone to fall into. It is my prayer that my love for truth and knowledge is because they lead me to know the Creator behind them and be in greater awe of who He is! 
Here are some books that I am currently enjoying on this journey of loving God more with all my mind:
Saving Leonardo - a great book on how different ideas affect our worldview.
The Outliers - a very thought provoking nonfiction book by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell
The Hobbit - just because it's fun :).
The Book Thief - something I'm reading with my girls. It's now made into a movie, which we're waiting to see after we read the book (see ETA above).
Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl - this came highly recommended by a favorite Christian blogger. It's a good book for me to read as I prepare my girls to face a world where friendship with boys will become more complicated.


  1. Great thoughts on Gods truth. Have you seen the Truth Project? Very, very worthwhile!

  2. Great sites on your sidebar! You might enjoy True Woman 101 blog/workbook!